Marianne Heske

It was about a half hour's afternoon walk, when I visited Marianne the first time. Her room was warm, though the sun was hidden behind the gloomy clouds outside.

Marianne explained many of her works to me, which are all touching. It might be due to all of those moments which she experienced, or the objects she found. She explores the artificialities in nature by her perspective, and puts these artificialities into an artificial space, combining them and sharing the common moment. She reproduces doll's heads in all types of materials and installs them in a public plaza in Oslo. This process of picking up artificialities from nature and returning them into prosaic, common places, is about experiencing these moments of transformation through these artificialities, and has become a characteristic of Marianne's work. She tries to eradicate the specificity of the time in which the object was manufactured, and also the duration of her action on the object, but merge both in the object itself. She transported a stone from its natural place to another part of the globe; she moved a 400 year old cabin to Centre Georges Pompidou; she reproduced doll's heads into different mediums. Marianne's art work is not a demonstration of certain art trends, furthermore, it is a private and intuitive methodology. She follows an intuitive path to create her works and uses her own concept of time to confront the delivery. Meanwhile, she is resisting the order of this world. First of all, she resists the understanding to time, secondly, the connection between human and object. These objects include artificial and natural materials, and for Marianne, they are not really distinguishable from one another. She deliberately resists explaining the world the way modern people understand it, and it releases her creations from the burden of art history, and the history of civilization.

Marianne's working method has no special art-based methodology or language, her working technique and her approach to life are the same. Art is her emotional and mental activity, her daily life and career; both a special moment of creation, and a constant mode of being. This could be the way to understand her art work, but never the only way. We can read her works via its connection with Fluxus, Conceptual Art or Live Art, but just as she desires to remove her work from a time-based mode of thinking, reading her work through these associations is limiting. Marianne’s work is not built up of meaning derived from these associations. She doesn't have iconic art works, even the doll’s heads, which been installed in the plaza, were ready made objects that she found and are still a part of her pick-up collection. These works that were put into public spaces, probably come closest to speaking of her intention, of combining action with social behavior.

When Marianne puts herself and these personal objects, which belongs to her, in the public sphere, how does the public react these works? Does she only discuss time and order, when she brought the cabin to Pompidou, reproducing it, and putting them together? What else does she explore? Or we could say, the different stages of her ready-made work, and the transformation of materials based on her understanding, both fit into a kind of logic which holds with an interior personal experience.

Marianne deals with the relationship between images, such as the clear connection of "Phrenologic Self-portrait" and the doll's head. She transfers her understanding of interior psychology and portraiture to her study of dolls, or to say, the image of dolls and the decomposition of skull research relates to her cognition to her own body and appearance, and to her mortal existence. How similar that "We are such stuffs as dreams are made of..." to the famous ancient Chinese allusion "Zhuang Zhou dreaming butterfly"!It is simple and natural to be touched by the way in which Marianne connects a lifetime of experiences with her work, which enables these experiences to be viewed from a new perspective. Human memory is like a montage in a movie, where people intend to sublimate objects, moments, and themselves. So, can I observe myself from the perspective of the artist? Would that doll dream of me?

Thanks to the trust that Marianne gives to me, her art works give me a certain sense beyond knowledge and information, as has Roman Signer's work. It belongs to time and personal experience, and has emotional resonance and warmth.

Zhenhua LEE
9th October, 2015, Zurich

 

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